Topos 76

Crisis Landscapes

Release Date: Sep 26, 2011
Size/Weight:: | 640 gr
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Topos 76

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Crisis Landscapes

Trauma, disaster, crisis: These terms mark unforeseen and undesired change. When a crisis occurs in the world around us, we commonly think in terms of the human or architectural scale. This issue of Topos examines crisis situations in relationship to the landscape. Author: Bridger, Jessica

Tahrir Square: Origins and Futures

The ongoing political upheval in Egypt has drawn attention to the various public stages for protests, demonstrations and other exercises of free speech, and none more so than Tahrir Square in Cairo. The history of Tahrir Square and the consideration of the function of public space in Egyptian society are rich sources of insight into the ongoing developments. Author: Elshahed, Mohamed

From Crisis to Opportunity. The Healing Ecologies of the Cyprus Green Line

The product of military and political conflict, a 180-kilometer-long buffer zone has divided Cyprus since 1974. Largely undisturbed, it is an ecologically valuable area with the potential for transformative change. Author: Grichting, Anna

Human Shields: The Surface as Avatar

Simple architectural gestures like color and decoration in the landscape can be powerful signifying elements that mark change. The larger ecology of three post-crisis cities is examined in light of the narrative and literal power of paint. Author: Fowler, Justin

Exterial Landscape

The result of economic and political decisions that were made without consideration of externalities, Exterial Landscapes involve costly environmental damage that can enable change and reclaimation to ensure that the errors are not repeated. Author: Berger, Alan

Post Traumatic Stress Management

Whether suffering is caused by nature or by other humans, the consequences are serious for those affected. Recovering from a traumatic experience is important and requires support. Author: Plagge, Ute

Crisis, Poignancy and the Sublime

Climate change is one of the largest-scale crises that humanity faces. An understanding of the sublime potentially offers designers a way to respond to it at a human scale. Author: Hill, Kristina

Landscapes of Disaster Symbolic Spaces of Orientation

Famous historical natural disasters changed the view of the world. Until recently, we comprehended dramatised landscapes by identifying with the victims. The 21st-century landscapes of risk now brought upon us as a result of climate change appear to be understandable in neither a spatial nor a temporal fashion. This has deprived the landscape of its symbolic orientation. Author: Eckardt, Frank

Two Million Homes for Mexico : Photoessay

In 2000, Mexican presidential candidate Vicente Fox Quesada announced an unprecedented campaign promise to build two million low-income homes throughout the country during his six-year term. The results of that promise raise many questions. Author: Corona, Livia

The Social Dimension of Crisis

Disasters like the January 2011 flood in Queensland, Australia influence whole communities. In Brisbane, people came together in the floods. After the flood receded, designers considered plans for flood-resilient landscapes and architecture, and public policy based intiatives were proposed. Six months later, policy is focused predominantly on mitigating the economic damage. Author: Raxworthy, Julian

A Well-Developed Plan: Wet Monumentality

Competing political motivations, overlapping bureaucracies, and cultural pratices problematize the creation of an overall concept for the Ganges basin, crucial for the region’s water system, which is in a perpetual state of slow-moving crisis. The creation of a dynamic atlas could offer a chance for comprehensive communication. Author: Acciavatti, Anthony


The earthquake and subsequent tsunami of 11 March 2011 destroyed the Japanese coast north of Tokyo. Forced to think about how to live in nature, this could be an opportunity for the country's landscapes architects. Author: Mitani, Hiko

Preemptive Landscape: A Prototype for Coastal Urbanization along the Pacific Ring of Fire

A team of designers is trying to help a community that was devastated in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan to answer difficult questions about how – and whether – to rebuild. Author: Mazereeuw, Miho

Christchurch: Living in a Crisis Landscape

The earthquake of 4 September 2010 and ongoing aftershocks have hit Christchurch unprepared. Located in the south of New Zealand, the city was considered a safe place in a country located precariously on the convergence of tectonic plates. The people of Christchurch now have to consider a lingering threat. Author: Walsh, John

Designing Process: The Exemplar Community Zoranje in Haiti

Almost two years after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, unclear land ownership and a lack of good governance impede reconstruction. In response to these limitations, Zoranje is a planned settlement northwest of the capital, designed by a team working with strategies for long-term sustainable development. Author: Werthmann, Christian

Remaking City and Coast: Landscape Crisis in New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina revealed underlying environmental problems in the delta of New Orleans. Since then, greater awareness for this ecosystem has emerged. Several projects evidence a new approach to landscape issues, yet it is still difficult to implement landscape-driven projects. Author: Mossop, Elisabeth

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